As someone who has spent many hours researching family history,
it has been especially poignant to see children
disappearing from the household.
Sometimes it transpires that they have died in infancy,
but of course usually they have just
grown up and left home.
The girls are the hardest to find
unless they have unusual names.
We have just completed the 2011 census.
I realised with a pang that our eldest
could not be entered as temporarily absent.
Although he has only just left,
and is often found here overnight,
tonight is not one of them.
He's left home.
Luckily we know where he is
and that he is happy.
They don't ask that on the census.